48
Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-Trade Deadline Mailbag: Could the Edmonton Oilers land Jack Eichel?

A week or so ago I put out to the Twitter-verse a request to see some of your best Edmonton Oilers related trade proposals.

And by gum, did you all not disappoint. There were some good ones, some really bad ones, and a few that made me think long and hard.

With the NHL’s trade deadline set for April 12th, a week from tomorrow, we have to get an idea of where the Oilers stand ahead of the trade season. What we know about the team now is that it’s unlikely the Oilers move much in the way of draft capital.

Last year’s deadline saw the Oilers ship two second round picks to the Detroit Red Wings for Andreas Athanasiou, a trade didn’t give the team the value they hoped for largely in part due to a global pandemic. On top of that, the Oilers are as tight to the salary cap as can be having already dipped deep into the LTIR pool. Any deal that would be made would have to be dollar in, dollar out, so they say.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Edmonton goes into the deadline without picks in the second, third, or fifth round this year, but they do have all their picks available beyond this season.

The Oilers depth is as strong as it has been for years in thanks to a taxi squad full of players giving the team valuable minutes when called up. All things considering, I project this to be a fairly quiet year for the Oilers at the deadline, but who on earth knows what will happen.

So, without further ado, let’s get into some proposals.

The proposals

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

This is one of the more realistic moves although I don’t think that’s enough from Edmonton. Arvidsson’s offence has dipped over the last two years, but continues to be a solid depth scoring piece. In theory he could slide into the Oilers top-six, maybe on the top line with McDavid and Puljujarvi. He’s cost controlled for the next three seasons after this at only $4.25-million.

Keeping up with Nashville, I like this proposal for the Oilers. Ekholm would be a huge addition to the Oilers leftorium and would bring some big stability. For this deal to work, Edmonton would A) need to be willing to part with their first rounder which they seem reluctant to do, and B) find some way to make the money work. Ekholm has a $3.75-m cap hit and moving Chiasson back ($2.15-m) would get them close.

No thanks. I’d rather not waste an asset on Glendening. He’s not worth it.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

This would be more of an offseason move than in-season, but I could see something like this working. I’m not huge on Merzlikins, but he is still a very young goalie who has played very well for Columbus in small sample size. Merzilkins has one-year left after this at a $4-m cap hit before becoming a UFA, and I’d imagine Edmonton would want some assurance on a longer-term deal to trade for him.

I think New Jersey would be hard pressed to move Blackwood. He’s young, is owed $2.8-m against the cap over the next two years, and will be an RFA.

Why? Edmonton could buyout Neal this offseason as a much more palatable cost than trading a first rounder to get out from his deal.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Rickard Rakell would be a great addition to the Oilers, but the cost is nowhere near where it would need to be. Anaheim would want a high-end prospect (think Broberg, Bouchard, etc.) and likely a first round pick back.

What? No.

Assuming this is Kris Russell, I don’t see him being moved at all. Edmonton signed him to an extension to help with the expansion draft. With that being said, Neal, a 2nd plus a B-grade prospect might be able to get it done. Moving Neal would help make the money work, but Edmonton might have to add more to get Buffalo to eat that contract.

There’s been talk that Buffalo would be looking for four first round picks in a potential Jack Eichel trade, so the value on this isn’t far off at all. While I’m not a fan of moving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, this is a trade I could absolutely see Buffalo considering. Eichel is an incredible talent and has tremendous isolated impacts with the lowly Sabres. His addition to the Oilers top-six would make them a near instant Stanley Cup contender.

In saying that, though, all signs point to Edmonton wanting to keep Nugent-Hopkins in Edmonton long-term, so something like this is highly unlikely.

Not gonna happen. Anaheim won’t be trading Zegras anytime soon, if ever.

I think this deal is pretty close. DeBrusk has seemed to have fallen out of favour in Boston and they’re lacking defensive depth. I could see this one happening.

Boston would need to add to this deal to make it viable from Edmonton’s perspective. Bear is a much better player and prospect than Jones, and is already a very good top four defenceman.

Uhm… This one seems like it might be a bit far out but honestly, isn’t horrible. Laine has struggled in Columbus and they appear to be ready to work with him through it, but with Laine being an RFA this offseason he could force his way out there. Laine could come into Edmonton and be able to be an elite scoring threat on the Oilers top line alongside friend and fellow Finn Jesse Puljujarvi. I would think Columbus would like a forward prospect, though, so maybe someone like Tyler Benson could be included somehow?

I’m not a massive fan of this, but Brassard could be a decent addition to the bottom-six. His offensive impacts aren’t great, but he’s a solid defensive player. I don’t think I’d see Arizona moving on from him, however.

I hadn’t really thought about Mantha being an option, but he’s a dynamic offensive threat while providing some good run support defensively, too. Detroit just re-signed him, so I don’t see them wanting to move on from him, but there could be something to be had there.

Hey, here’s a Mantha proposal that isn’t awful.

Barrie won’t be moved.

A first round pick for Ryan Getzlaf? In this economy?

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]